Apple’s annual developer conference is slated for next week. We’ll be on-site sharing news live from the keynote but for now, here’s what we’re thinking, hoping and wishing will be shown off by Tim Cook and company. Read more »
We knew Microsoft has had smartwatch aspirations for some time — remember the SPOT Watches above from a decade ago? — and now it appears that such a device will work with more than just Windows Phone. Forbes reported on Thursday that Microsoft’s watch will also support Bluetooth notifications from Android and iOS handsets, which would be a clever move: Microsoft’s global smartphone share is relatively small, but expected to grow through 2018. Forbes’ sources suggest the possibility of a release within months with the watch capable of health and heart-rate tracking through optical technology from the Xbox Kinect group.
Smartwatch makers have generally ignored Windows Phone, opting instead to support Android and iOS handsets. The Hot Watch is getting some help from Microsoft to change that with Windows Phone support coming next month. Read more »
Wi-Fi hotspot sign-in with Facebook was announced last year and now there’s a new router that uses the service: Just check-in to your location on Facebook and you’re online for free. Read more »
It’s a safe bet that new iMac hardware launches at or soon after next week’s Apple WWDC event. Might there be a cheaper entry level Mac or is it time for one with a 4K display? Read more »
The promise of contextual, useful information at a glance is coming with Android Wear smartwatches. A first look at notifications illustrates this but consumers will have to carefully manage which apps can talk to the watch. Read more »
Android will keep its majority smartphone share thanks largely to lower cost handsets says IDC. Wait a second: doesn’t that segment bode well for Microsoft too? Read more »
After four years of full pricing, Apple is offering a $20 to $30 educational discount on its iPad line. Why now? Perhaps its just an effort to ramp up iPad sales, but it could be part of a bigger battle in the classroom as well. Read more »
After showing off the 2-in-1 Asus PadFone X in January, AT&T is ready to sell it. The phone is a step behind some recent flagships in terms of capabilities but still quite capable. Slip it into the tablet and you’ve got a large screen. Read more »
Tired of waiting for the three wireless charging groups to agree on a solution? So is Broadcom. The company’s newest chip is a multi-standard power manager that works with all three of the current wireless charging standards. Read more »
The reign of the U.S. is nearly over when it comes to handset revenues. Research firm Strategy Analytics pegs 2014 as the year that China unseats the U.S. thanks to an expected 430 million handset sales in China by year-end. That’s far and away above the 163 million to be sold in the U.S. All of those phones in China will produce revenues of $87 billion, compared to the $60 billion for U.S. phone sales. The revenue figures show that the U.S. market is skewed higher to expensive smartphones, unlike China whose smartphone growth is in the early stages while 3G and 4G networks are built out.
How often do you see laptop models differ in screen size only and cost the same? Not very but that appears to be the case with the new Asus C200 and C300 Chromebooks. Read more »
Wishing you had a programmable hardware button on your phone? How about three of them? That’s what the Cliq case delivers to select Android handsets thanks to integrated NFC wireless and clever software: You pick the tasks for each button. Read more »
There werent many surprises when LG launched its G3 smartphone since many of the details were leaked. That doesnt make the G3 any less impressive with its 538 ppi display and advanced features. Read more »
Although granted patents aren’t always implemented in actual products, Samsung could build a round-faced smartwatch similar to the upcoming Moto 360. SammyToday gathered up a number of images and descriptions from the May 22 patent grant, showing a circular watch face that can be controlled through touch or various gestures as seen by a sensor on the device. You could, for example, do a pinch and zoom gesture from your hand that isn’t wearing the watch. If Samsung does create a watch based on these patents, it’s likely to run the company’s own Tizen software, not Google’s Android wear which will power the Moto 360.
Can you get a full Windows 8.1 tablet that weighs less than a pound and runs 10 hours for under $200? As of July, you can: That’s when the 8-inch Toshiba Encore 2 arrives along with a 10-inch model for $269. Read more »
Owners of iPhones and iPads in Australia are reportedly locked out of their devices until paying a ransom fee. The hack is taking advantage of Find My iPhone although the cause is likely account credential theft and not the software. Read more »
I’d never argue that Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 should be your first choice if you’re looking for a pure tablet. If you have limited tablet needs, though, the slate functions are a nice bonus from the ultrabook-like laptop computer. Read more »
After a long wait following the $179 Asus Chromebox, the company’s Chromebook duo is up for pre-order with delivery expected in June. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear what the Intel Bay-Trail M chip will do for this pair of Chromebooks. Read more »
If you want a low-cost Android experience, HP is happy to oblige with is new tablet but don’t expect much at this price. LG’s G3 will likely have a laser autofocus camera system and Dell’s Android slate is getting a faster, new chip. Read more »
First appearing in several European Union regions, in March the lower-cost 8 GB model of Apple’s iPhone 5c is now available in India. The handset costs Rs 33,500 ($573.39 US) after a reported Rs 4,000 cash rebate from Apple according to The Times of India, and includes a free case. 9to5 Mac notes that the limited storage works out to a RS 6,300 savings compared to the base 16 GB model which costs RS 39,800 after rebate. With either model, Apple won’t likely find much of a foothold: There are dozens of lower costing alternatives running Google Android and Windows Phone software available.
Would you rather take phone calls on a watch instead of a phone? Samsung thinks so based on reports that it will launch a standalone smartwatch this summer that will accept a SIM card and have its own phone number. Read more »
LG’s G3 flagship phone is launching later than competing handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8. How can it differentiate? Perhaps through a fast laser autofocus camera system and super high resolution display. Read more »
Google is bringing its Project Tango technology to 7-inch tablets where the slates will have dual cameras and multiple sensors to “see” the world around them. The hardware part is easy. Creating compelling software for Project Tango is the bigger challenge. Read more »
More people might start speaking to their computers now that Google has enabled hands-free voice search for all Chrome users. Just say “OK Google” on a blank tab in Chrome and you can search the web, set reminders or even timers. Read more »
Want to use your Google Calendar in Microsoft’s own Calendar app? That’s not happening. But there is a great free alternative that’s touch-friendly and syncs multiple Google calendars to Windows 8.1 devices like the new Surface Pro 3. Take a look at OneCalendar. Read more »
Pre-orders for the first Asus Chromebook have begun with Amazon charging $249 for the Chrome OS laptop and shipments expected on June 26. The C200 is an 11.6-inch Chromebook that uses the newer Intel(s intc) BayTrail-M processor instead of the fairly standard Haswell-based Celeron chip found in most current Chromebooks. That’s likely a step-down in performance but with the benefit of even more battery life: Asus says you can expect 10 to 11 hours of runtime from the 2.5 pound laptop. The C200 supplements the already available $179 Asus Chromebox and a larger C300 Chromebook coming soon.
HP either can’t or won’t compete in the high-end Android tablet market so this new $99 slate takes on the no-name brands. Unfortunately, at this price range, brand name doesn’t often mean as much: There are plenty of low-cost tablets already on the market. Read more »
Like its predecessor, the LG G3 will have a case that provides information at a glance through a cut-out. The QuickCircle case also lets you take pictures, place calls or send texts without even opening it. Read more »
While IE works great on the new Surface Pro 3 as you’d expect, Chrome isn’t so hot; likely due to the tablet’s unique screen resolution. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear more on that as well as new Chrome OS devices coming soon. Read more »
Even at first blush it’s easy to see that Surface Pro 3 is a better laptop than its predecessor: It’s thinner, lighter, has a better display with more room to work and has a super trackpad. Is it a better tablet? That’s hard to say. Read more »
Microsoft is holding a Surface event in New York City and we’re there. The company is widely expected to launch a small Surface Mini tablet but there could be more than just a single new device today. Hopefully, Microsoft will update on how the Surface line is doing as well. Read more »
AT&T’s first HD Voice phone launches next week for a low price, mainly because it’s a cut-down version of last year’s Galaxy S4 flagship. Still, you’ll have clear wideband audio calls if you live in an HD Voice market. Read more »
Patents never guarantee products but this is one I’d like to see happen. A Google patent was granted for a phone that inserts into a laptop for connectivity. There could be more to it though: Why not an Android phone powering a Chromebook? Read more »
U.K.-based research firm Strategy Analytics figures that Samsung took 71 percent of the smartwatch market in the first quarter of 2014, with an estimated 500,000 smartwatches sold. Android Beat noted the milestone on Monday saying the sales estimates don’t include return rates. The company has since launched new models that run on its Tizen platform instead of Android, setting up a big showdown for next month. Google’s I/O developer event takes place in June where it will further detail Android Wear software for smartwatches. LG and Motorola plan to launch Android Wear devices at or soon after the event, offering Google Now contextual notifications on the wrist.
It’s looking more likely that Apple’s iPhone 6 will have a 4.7-inch display with 1704 x 960 resolution. So what might that look like? Here’s a side by side comparison of iOS 7 on a 4-inch and a 4.7-inch screen. Read more »
Adding to the T-Mobile phones Walmart already sells, the large retailer is now carrying two 4G Android tablets powered by T-Mobile’s network. Both come with 200 MB of high-speed monthly data with options to add more mobile broadband. Read more »
Multiple sources showed off two variants of the Galaxy S5 over the weekend: The Active and the Prime. The latter seems more interesting due to an expected 2K resolution display and faster Snapdragon processor. Read more »
Last week it was reported that AT&T would make a run for DirecTV’s satellite television business. On Sunday, it did, offering $95 a share for the company. Read more »
While Google’s annual developer event is just weeks away, you don’t need to wait for it to see what’s new in Chrome and Chrome OS. New features have recently cropped up in early test versions that solidify Google’s overall Chrome strategy. Read more »